Geekery: SpaceX Lands a Rocket in the Atlantic

spacex landing pad

Fifth time is the charm – and it delivered some amazing cargo. Check it!

The  Falcon 9 rocket that helped power the Dragon CRS-8 spacecraft into orbit – it delivered supplies and an experimental living pod to the ISS – successfully touched down on a drone ship in the Atlantic ocean on Friday. This is the first successful ocean landing Space-X has accomplished.

For the onboard camera – as you can see it did land a bit off center, but it managed to stabilize.


To keep up with SpaceX check out Elon Musk’s Twitter and Instagram  and SpaceX’s TwitterYouTube, and website.

The landing was only part this mission. The Dragon CRS-8 delivered an expandable module to the ISS for testing. If all goes well the module may be used for longer missions, possible Mars habitats, and eventually deep space travel.

Provided by Bigelow Aerospace, BEAM will be berthed to the aft docking port of the station’s Tranquility module for a two-year demonstration of the commercial expandable technology. The station crew members will perform maintenance inside the BEAM on a quarterly basis: inspecting for leaks, taking air and surface samples for later analysis, and changing out batteries in instruments measuring temperature and radiation levels and impact data.

Aerospace is moving fast right now… with projects like the BEAM Mars is getting close to reality every day.


What projects have caught your interest lately?

Wageningen UR’s plant experiment crowdfunding campaign is still running – they’re 1/2 way to their goal.


  • Dave

    That’s so Buck Rogers. I love it.

  • euansmith

    Are they landing in International Waters for legal reasons? I’m not saying its dodgy or anything, though Space X is headed by a man with a Bond villain name; I guess it gets around all sorts of red tape.

    • Dave

      It’s easier to ignore all those super toxic rocket fuel explosions. Maybe it’s a casino rocket?

    • Jennifer Burdoo

      They’re landing in international waters because national waters only go out somewhere between three and twelve miles (plus 200 for exclusive economic zone). And if they land as far out as possible, they don’t need to turn around and waste fuel. They don’t even drop the first stage until they’re hundreds of miles downrange.

      • euansmith

        Oh so they are taking off from point A and landing down range at point B (B = Boat); that’s a neat idea. But does this one not go in to orbit then?

        • The Falcon 9 is part of this guy:

        • Garrett Sorensen

          the reason landing on a raft is so important is because landing at the equator is much cheaper than otherwise. you can use more of the earths rotation to both speed you up ans slow you down. we then dont have to pay any countries who have own land on the equator to launch rockets.

          • It also allows for safer landing for higher velocity missions – they’re looking at using these to ferry to lunar colonies, etc. Small error = miles off target when you’re moving fast. Ocean landings give a much wider safety net.

          • Jennifer Burdoo

            There’s actually no problem with that – we have agreements with several places, such as Dakar, that will permit emergency landings after a failed launch. There’s even an international agreement that if astronauts land in the wrong country they will be returned without incident.

        • Jennifer Burdoo

          It’s a multistage rocket. The first stage is dropped and returns to Earth — it may reach space suborbitally, but does not orbit. The second stage continues to orbit and meets up with the ISS.

          • euansmith